Students participate in model African Union

Virginia State University participated in the Ninth Annual Model African Union Conference held at Howard University in Washington, D.C. last week.  A student delegation represented the country of Comoros during the simulated proceedings of the African Union, an organization of 53 member nations working collaboratively to address economic, social and political-security issues, as well as other concerns that impact the continent. The experience gives students an opportunity to study the role, structure and activities of the African Union as it works to resolve these issues.  Each participating college and university represents one or more of the member nations.  In preparation for the proceedings, students developed their research and critical thinking skills as they learned the complexities of international diplomacy.  

Members of the VSU delegation are Kevin Ealy, a senior psychology major; Janet Imobisa, a senior sociology major; Afua Riverson, a junior political science major; Shadé Smith, a senior sociology major; Meagan Whiten, a junior mass communications major; and Yl’yahkim Yisra’yl, a senior health major.  Dr. Joyce M. Edwards, Associate Professor of Sociology, is the Delegate Faculty Advisor.  The simulation was augmented by briefings at African Embassies in Washington, through which students gained a better understanding of the factors that shape the domestic and foreign policies of African countries, as well as the patterns of cooperation and conflict that characterize intra-African diplomacy.

Working in collaboration with the African Union Mission in Washington and Member State Embassies, Howard University sponsors the simulation each year.  In 2002 the African Union replaced the Organization of African Unity, which was established in 1963.

For more information, contact Maxine Sample, Director, Dr. George H. Bennett Office for International Education (804) 524-5986 or


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